Welcome to another star-studded edition of the NFL awards, where this week we celebrate the best and worst that the NFL's ultimate game has offered us over it's 45 years of existence, as we look ahead to the 46th installment.
The "best play" award goes to David Tyree
It seems rather fitting that we begin our "Super Bowl best of" show with the signature play from the first Giants-Patriots Super meeting from four years ago, especially since they;re days from duking it again in this year's game. The play itself would have merited serious consideration for this honor, what with Tyree pinning it to his helmet on the way down and all, but when you consider everything that was at stake for the perfect Patriots, it just puts it over the top as the best play in Super Bowl history, and it will always be the play most remembered from this upset, even more than Plaxico Burress' game-winning score later in the drive.
The "worst performance by a team" award goes to the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII
It might seem like unnecessarily piling on the Bills, the only team to lose four consecutive Super Bowls, to award them this award, but when you commit a Super-Bowl record nine turnovers, it's hard to find a worse performance than that. And while we here at the NFL awards are well aware that it probably wouldn't have mattered how well the Bills played against the Cowboys that game, we can't help but wonder how good the game might've been if the Bills had, you know, shown up.
The "best Super Bowl ad campaign" award goes to the e*trade baby
There are many worthy candidates for this award, but whoever said you should never work with kids or animals was clearly onto something. So with all apologies to the Budweiser Clydesdales and another personal favorite of mine, Terry Tate: Office Linebacker, we give this honor to the greatness of the e*trade baby...whichever e*trade baby it actually is this week. Here to accept the award is the e*trade baby and his friend Frank...
The "best Super Bowl hype video" award goes to the '85 Bears for the "Super Bowl Shuffle"
How you feel about the McMahon clan's self-aggrandizing video likely depends on how you feel about teams talking a little trash now and then, but we here at the NFL awards believe that this video really isn't supposed to be taken that seriously. Of course, when you then go out and win all but one of the games you play, you kind of deserve to heap this kind of praise on yourself:
The "best performance by a player" award goes to Phil Simms
There have been plenty of better performances, numbers-wise, than the ones that Simms put up in Super Bowl XXI, but his completion percentage en route to a 22-for-25 performance and MVP honors is still the best passing day in Super Bowl history. And while we personally can't stand Simms, we are equal-opportunity award-givers. Unfortunately, the rest of the show will be lacking due to him putting everyone to sleep with his acceptance speech.
The "worst moment by a player" award goes to Thurman Thomas
And as I'm sure you've surmised by now, this has nothing to do with anything that happened on the field, but rather the fact that Thomas couldn't find his helmet in the early going of Super Bowl XXVI. You can make the argument that out of all the moments that encapsulate the Bills' four consecutive Super losses, that this is the one that epitomizes total failure on their part more than any of them.
The "best Super Bowl commercial of all-time" award goes to "Mean" Joe Green
Throughout the history of time, I don't think there's ever been a more heartwarming theme for commercials than professional athletes showing their softer side. And of all the guys you'd least expect to show their soft side, it would be the one they call "Mean". But this thing is universally known as the best Super Bowl commercial of all time, and we'd be fools to think anything different.
The "worst musical performance of all-time" award goes Christina Aguilera
Rather she was "caught up in the moment", as she said, or just forgot the words to the most-important song in the country is anyone's guess (well, not really, she probably just forgot), but there's no question that her performance trumps anything that the halftime shows have ever been able to produce in terms of how awful it was. On the bright side, she did get to leave the show with a portly football writer, who told her he was going to accompany her back to her room and "teach her the words to the song."
The "best halftime show" award goes to U2
Quite frankly, because they're U2. But also because no matter what you may think of his various philanthropic ventures, no one has a pulse for what the rest of the world is feeling about things quite like Bono. In this case, it was the feelings of Americans that he was able to channel through his band's halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVI, the first one held in February thanks in part to the 9/11 attacks that U2 so eloquently honored the victims of with this performance.
The "best game" award goes to Super Bowl XLIII
Some might argue that the previous year's game, in which the Giants beat the perfect Patriots, and which will be rematched in this year's game, is the best, but that's the beauty of this debate. For the better part of two decades, there were very few Super Bowls that lived up to the hype. Many have in recent years, but this one, which saw the Steelers win their record sixth title in dramatic fashion over the Cardinals with Santonio Holmes' late, game-winning TD catch, trumps them all. To date, it's by far the closest a 9-win team has come to winning the biggest game of the year, with the Cards coming seconds from achieving that feat.
So there you have it. We'll be back next week with the final NFL awards show of the year, wrapping up Super Bowl XLVI. Considering doing a second installation of "best of" awards, though. Hit me back in the comments.